!Khwa ttu: the way of the San

first_imgIvan Vaalbooi, a guide at !Khwa ttu, onthe recently opened Gathering Trail, whichhighlights the incredible plant knowledgeof the San Bushmen. Originally from Angola, where he sawvillages and tribes destroyed by civil war,Carlos Korokagho Munawgo’s knowledgeof plants and San customs was passeddown from older generations, not studied. The restaurant at !Khwa ttuMEDIA CONTACTS• !Khwa ttu+27 22 492 2998info@khwattu.org• Working Group of Indigenous Minoritiesin Southern Africa+264 61 244 909wimsareg@iway.na• South African San Institute+27 53 8322156sasi@iafrica.comRELATED ARTICLES• African human genomes decoded• Tracing the origins of humankind• Ancient arrows a clue to the past• The Free State’s castle retreatRichard Holmes“Eleven years ago, this was a run-down cattle farm,” Michael Daiber tells me as we wander across the quiet courtyard at !Khwa ttu, the bright summer sunshine bouncing off freshly whitewashed walls. From the hilltop, the blue waters of the West Coast sparkle a few kilometres away, while the flat top of Table Mountain is just visible through the distant heat haze.The scars of farming are still visible in the fields below, but today there’s a different crop being sown in this 850ha Western Cape nature reserve, with ecotourism providing new opportunities for one of South Africa’s most marginalised communities.!Khwa ttu aims to open visitors’ eyes to the world of the San Bushmen, one of Africa’s oldest peoples. But this is no theme park. The emphasis is on a “tangible journey into history facilitated by the people themselves”, celebrating San culture and creating opportunities for the community.!Khwa ttu has its beginnings in 1998, when the Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa partnered with the South African San Institute to create a tourism and training project for San people from across Southern Africa. Then in 1999 Swiss anthropologist Irene Staehelin joined the initiative, setting up the Ubuntu Foundation and buying the farm that became !Khwa ttu. Today, the project is an award-winning partnership jointly owned by the San people and Ubuntu.“Ecotourism and training go hand in hand here,” says Daiber, the CEO of !Khwa ttu. “San people come from across Southern Africa to study and work here for a nine-month period. But it’s not about the certificates and gold lettering. Here it’s all about the real-life work experience that will allow them to find good jobs in the tourism industry.”Men like Carlos Korokagho Munawgo.Munawgo seems like the grandfather of !Khwa ttu. When he speaks people stop and listen. Originally from Angola, where he saw villages and tribes destroyed by civil war, Munawgo’s knowledge of plants and San customs was passed down from older generations, not studied. It’s knowledge that’s happily being tapped by the centre’s young guides.A case in point is Ivan Vaalbooi, an enthusiastic young guide from the dry Northern Cape. With his training behind him he is now an accredited tour guide who learned many of his skills here at !Khwa ttu: “I’ve learned from Carlos. Now I have a chance to pass on some of these skills to the other San people who come to train here.”The visitor complex boasts a country-style restaurant and a small gift shop, but the reason tourists drive up the R27 to !Khwa ttu – just under an hour from the centre of Cape Town – are the centre’s two interpretive trails.The Hunting Trail – on foot and tractor-trailer – has long been the main attraction, introducing visitors to the way the San lived, hunted and celebrated.Then, because they were a people who always lived in balance with nature, the recently opened Gathering Trail highlights the San’s incredible plant knowledge.Over 150 plant species, most only found growing naturally in the dry semi-desert further north, line the easy walking trail, which is loosely divided into five broad areas.“This wild mint is my favourite,” says Vaalbooi, leading us into the first section, which contains plants that can be used as herbal teas to cure a variety of ills. The sandy path wanders down towards plants for “women’s health”, which was of particular importance to the San during childbirth.“You can use the stems and the leaves of the Agapanthus plant to ease the pains of childbirth,” says Vaalbooi. “But it’s very bitter, and only a very small amount is used.”Each section has a number of helpful signboards, with photographs of the plant and explanation of their uses. Two areas cover plants used for “general Health”, with the likes of the common thorn apple and sour figs easing arthritis and sore throats respectively.“Only one particular household in the community would know how to use all of these plants,” says Vaalbooi. “If you were sick, or you had troubles, you would come to this family to ask for help. This knowledge would then be passed down through the family.”A plump little tsama melon gives the game away for the final stop on the short trail. “They say that this is the grandmother of the watermelon,” Vaalbooi says. “You can prepare it lots of different ways. You can roast the seeds, or eat it just plain like it is. You can also make a very nice porridge out of it … it has a very nice sour taste!”We leave the tsama melon to ripen in the hot West Coast sun and wander back up towards the restaurant. Before settling into the hearty lunchtime menu, most visitors wander through the photo gallery, which offers a shocking look at how the San have been exploited, examined and dehumanised over the past 400 years.Failing to recognise the subtlety of their ancient ways, Victorian explorers poked, prodded and procured the “savage” San for display around the world. The 20th century did little better, dragging them into regional conflicts – most notably in Namibia and Angola – and destroying what remained of their traditional way of life.Today, stripped of their ancestral lands, alcoholism and unemployment threaten to wipe out the first people of Africa altogether. Which makes projects like !Khwa ttu all the more valuable. Combining ecotourism and training opportunities offers a new path for men like Munawgo and Vaalbooi.From the restaurant I hear the clatter of cutlery as a restaurant full of happy diners makes the most of !Khwa ttu’s Sunday lunch buffet. Wines from local estates flow freely and organic vegetables from the garden make their way into the kitchen as a small army of waitresses bustle between tables. In the shop, new arrivals browse through the selection of gifts, such as ostrich-egg bracelets, handcrafted by San communities.Those eggs would once have been used to store water for the dry months, ensuring the community’s future survival. Today, it’s inquisitive tourists – and projects like !Khwa ttu – that are providing a nest egg for San communities across Southern Africa.Tourist advisory!Khwa ttu is situated on the R27, some 45 minutes north of Cape Town. Visit www.khwattu.org to find out more, or call +27 22 492 2998.San-guided tours take place from Tuesdays to Sundays at 10am and 2pm. !Khwa ttu charges R220 (US$30) for adults and R110 ($15) for children, students and pensioners (complimentary drink included in the price). There is also a family special of R450 ($60) for two adults accompanying three children under 12 years.Khwa ttu also offers a conference facilities and a variety of self-catering accommodation: a family-friendly guest house near the restaurant (sleeps six), a secluded bush house (sleeps four) and a rustic bush camp (sleeps 20 in five canvas tents).last_img read more

Will Certified Green Homes Ever Serve Middle America?

first_imgCustom high-performance certified green homes? Been there, done that.If you already build a decent custom home that is anywhere near Energy Star certified, getting it green should be reasonably easy to do and cost you less than $1 per square foot. It’s not really breaking new ground in most communities anymore to build a nationally certified custom green home, unless it’s a freakishly designed emerald- or platinum-level zero-energy home. In short, the custom market in housing, like the custom segment in many industries, is leading the way when it comes to integrating green design details, products, materials, and construction methodologies that will ultimately become mainstream.Now, logically, these practices should be trickling down to semicustom and high-end production homes for the middle class, right? And as they become more widespread and costs drop, the final frontier will be starter homes, workforce housing and government-subsidized housing, correct? Well, my experience shows that the middle market is being left behind as low-income housing jumps to the front of the race to build nationally certified green homes.In the last year alone, we have priced out 200 LEED-certified Section 8 townhouses that came in at less than $70 per square foot, including a gross profit of approximately 12%. We are currently working on the pricing of 95 single-family homes considered LEED/NGBS-certified workforce housing, and they are coming in very close to the same cost and gross profit return. How is this possible?The home-size adjuster in each program is what makes it possible. In essence, there is a sliding scale that compensates for the effect of home size on resource consumption. All else being equal, a larger home consumes more materials and energy than a smaller home over its life cycle, so both programs adjust their awards threshold points in each category based on the size of the home. Thus, smaller-than-average homes require fewer points to reach a given award threshold than larger-than-average homes.The average home sizes for the LEED program are 1900 square feet with three bedrooms, 2600 square feet with four bedrooms, and 2850 square feet with five bedrooms. The NGBS also applies bonus points to the scoring for smaller-than-average homes. The bottom line is that the ratio of a small home to a large number of bedrooms has a much easier time reaching any given point threshold in either program than does the ratio of a large home to a small number of bedrooms.And that’s the key to how we are making green affordable in the workforce housing and/or low-income market. These houses are smaller and they have lots of bedrooms. That makes them a lot easier to certify. A 1700-sq.-ft. townhouse with four bedrooms gets a 10-point credit and only needs 35 points to be certified. At that point, it becomes a footrace to the least expensive way to get those points. But does that make it greener? That’s the topic of my next blog!last_img read more

Islandcom Customers Services now owned by LIME

first_img Flow counting down to Rio Games, launches Gold Tour campaign Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 18 Mar 2015 – The TCI Telecommunications Commission approved the sale of Islandcom to LIME on Friday; and the results of their review of the application filed by LIME is posted at the Commission’s website. No buying price for the indigenous Islandcom had ever been revealed, but LIME’s CEO of the Northern Caribbean Cluster, Jan Remmelg made in clear when he announced the coming acquisition on February 26th that the LTE license held by Islandcom made their assets very attractive. At the time of the announcement, the application had not yet been filed but LIME said it was confident the deal would be approved. The Commission put it like this: “The Turks and Caicos Telecommunications Commission (“Commission”) is pleased to inform you that Islandcom’s application for the transfer of its spectrum licence, number ranges under its network licence together with certain other business assets to Cable and Wireless Turks and Caicos Islands Limited (“LIME”) has been approved, subject to compliance with all applicable requirements under the laws of the Turks and Caicos Islands…” It was also widely known that Islandcom had a pending lawsuit against FortisTCI; that matter has been referred to the courts by the Telecommunications Commission. The Indian Premier League Has a New Home in the Caribbean Flow Sports now offers an unrivalled Cricket line-up Recommended for you Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:Islandcom, Jan Remmelg, lime Perdina wins Movado Watch set from LIME & Jai’slast_img read more

Autonomous car beta test will first benefit the blind

first_imgAcura RDXThe third-generation Acura RDX squeaks into the top ten list with larger proportions, plenty of interior space and better handling than its predecessor. Forward collision warning with collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control that works even in low-speed traffic, lane-keeping steering assist and road departure mitigation are all standard across the board. Like its MDX counterpart, the RDX is available with the A-Spec styling package.The RDX sports a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. Output is stated at 273 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, and it’s mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The new RDX is built in East Liberty, Ohio. 2019 Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison: A tougher off-roader 0 Honda RidgelineAgain keeping the status quo, the Honda Ridgeline maintains third place on the American Made Index. This crossover-that-looks-like-a-truck provides a better ride than a traditional pickup and gets an awesome lockable trunk right in the floor of the bed. And it doesn’t do the truck stuff too badly, either, as it’s able to carry 1,860 pounds of payload and tow 3,500 pounds.The Ridgeline is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 good for 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. That is channeled through a six-speed automatic transmission with available all-wheel drive. It’s built in Lincoln, Alabama. 81 Photos General Motors Chevrolet Honda Jeep Acura 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value 49 Photos 3 Tags Tags 2019 Honda Pilot Elite: A smoother, tech-rich crossover SUV 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better 2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison: An off-road animal Chevrolet CorvetteMoving up from the 10th-place slot last year is the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette. While we’ve all been ogling the new mid-engine Corvette, it’s easy to forget what a performance bargain the current-generation ‘Vette is. From the base trim to the Grand Sport to the bonkers ZR1, the Corvette is an American icon.My preference is for the Grand Sport, which strikes a perfect balance between everyday drivability and canyon-carving performance. The 6.2-liter V8 puts out 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. You can get it with a seven-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission, but the kicker is the borrowed chassis and aero parts from the beefier Z06. Like I said, perfect balance. The Corvette is made in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Honda OdysseyThe feature-rich Honda Odyssey minivan also retains its number-two slot from last year’s list. While the 2019 model doesn’t see any changes from last, it’s still a darn good choice for families on the go with reconfigurable seats, Wi-Fi and an excellent rear-seat entertainment system. The Cabin Watch video system lets parents keep an eye on their little darlings without turning around in their seats, while Cabin Talk amplifies their voice so no yelling is required.The Odyssey is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 rated for 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Most trims get a nine-speed automatic but the top Touring and Elite trims now use a 10-speed automatic with stop-start technology. The Honda Odyssey is made in Lincoln, Alabama. 2019 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport loves to hustle 2019 Acura RDX A-Spec: Sharp handling, sharper looks 2019 Honda Ridgeline review: Light duty, heavy punch 52 Photos 2019 GMC Sierra Denali review: So close to greatness 2019 Honda Passport: A well-rounded midsize offering 2019 GMC Canyon: A fancier Colorado Honda PassportThe Honda Passport is a new (well, reborn) entry to both the Honda lineup and the American Made Index. This midsize crossover comes to the fray with great driving dynamics and plenty of tech like the standard Honda Sensing suite of active safety features. An available 8-inch touchscreen gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well as a Wi-Fi hotspot.Under the hood is the stalwart 3.5-liter V6 producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. However unlike the Ridgeline, the Passport sends that power through a nine-speed automatic transmission. Having said that, just like the Ridgeline, this is the only powertrain available. The Honda Passport is built in Lincoln, Alabama. 71 Photos Chevrolet ColoradoMaking its debut in the top 10 is the Chevrolet Colorado. Shown here in the tough ZR2 Bison off-road spec, the Chevy Colorado is an excellent truck and one of the two midsize pickups you can get with a diesel engine. Adding to the ZR2’s two-inch lift and front and rear locking differentials, the Bison gets beefier skid plates (trust me, that’s a good thing), steel bumpers and integrated recovery points. Heck, you can even get a snorkel.Base models get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with a six-speed manual transmission, but a more popular choice is the 3.6-liter V6 gas engine with 308 horsepower and 275 pound-feet of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Meanwhile, the 2.8-liter diesel pumps out 186 horsepower and a delicious 369 pound-feet of twist and is mated to a six-speed automatic. The Chevy Colorado is built in Wentzville, Missouri. Autonomous Vehicles Auto Tech,Enlarge ImageIt’s all in a day’s work for the Jeep Cherokee, the most American-made car in 2019. Jeep With high trade tensions looming and increasing talk of tariffs, more and more consumers are looking to buy American. Cars.com has released its annual American Made Index, showcasing companies that use the most American-sourced parts and labor in their vehicles. The results may surprise you.Cars.com analyzed more than 100 US-built vehicles for five key data points: manufacturing location, parts sourcing, US employment, engine sourcing and transmission sourcing. You might think something like the Ford F-150 would top the list, but it drops from its No. 5 spot for 2018 and out of the top 10 completely. Even the first-place holder, the Jeep Cherokee, is a pretty global product. It’s a Jeep, sure, but that brand is part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, an Italian-owned business.Cars.com surveyed 1,000 people and found that half are concerned about automotive import tariffs, with 41% saying they are unsure if tariffs would make them more likely to buy American. Either way, we’re big fans of all the vehicles on this list. These days, buying American doesn’t necessarily mean sticking with a US-based automaker.center_img 10 Photos Enlarge ImageNext month, this autonomous pod will empower blind veterans in England. Aurrigo As autonomous mobility inches closer to widespread use and garners more headlines along the way, it’s easy to dream of a life of convenience. But it’s even easier for folks to forget that there is a whole subset of people for whom self-driving car tech will be more than mere convenience, it will change their lives — the disabled community.One of autonomy’s biggest selling points for the public is its potential to reduce the number of vehicle accidents and fatalities worldwide significantly. But in addition to the convenience possibilities and life-saving potential, UK autonomous mobility company Aurrigo is demonstrating how driverless pods can revolutionize the lives of blind people.Beginning in April, The Telegraph reports, Aurrigo will roll out a six-month beta test in collaboration with Blind Veterans UK that will provide driverless pods that will ferry visually impaired veterans around the charity’s rehabilitation campus at a blistering 15 mph.The beta test will allow Aurrigo to assess how blind riders interact with voice controls to improve the company’s future driverless cars, which use GPS and ultrasonic sensors to navigate the world.”So many of the blind veterans we support say that not being able to drive is one of the most significant things that hits you when you lose your sight,” said retired Maj. Gen. Nick Caplin, chief executive of Blind Veterans UK. 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous 9 Photos 2019 Honda Odyssey offers plenty of room and features for families Honda PilotDropping down to seventh place for 2019 is the Honda Pilot. Like its two-row Passport sibling, the three-row Pilot offers parent-focused technology like Cabin Talk as well as myriad standard driver-assistance features through the Honda Sensing tech suite. Honda’s largest crossover offers up nearly 84 cubic feet of cargo space. Honda’s 3.5-liter V6 engine shows up again, making a serviceable 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Touring and Elite trims get a nine-speed automatic transmission while lower trims have to make do with a six-speed auto. The Honda Pilot is made in Lincoln, Alabama. 18 Photos 68 Photos 69 Photos 2019 Honda Ridgeline: The commuter’s pickup truck Post a comment GMC CanyonIf you’re looking for a slightly fancier version of the Colorado that’s more focused on luxe than dirt, check out the GMC Canyon. The top Denali trim gets standard heated and ventilated front seats as well as a heated steering wheel. Maximum payload capability is 1,665 pounds while max towing is a fairly healthy 7,600 pounds.The Canyon is available with the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, 3.6-liter V6 or 2.8-liter diesel as the Chevrolet Colorado. It’s also built in Wentzville, Missouri. Acura MDXMoving up one slot to sixth place on the American Made Index is the non-hybrid variant of the Acura MDX. With its SH-AWD system, the MDX is one of the better handling midsize luxury crossovers, and for 2019 the company gives us the A-Spec treatment with a new front fascia and side skirts, 20-inch wheels, wider exhaust tips, unique gauges, a new steering wheel, carbon fiber trim and various Alcantara interior touches.However, both the standard and A-Spec models get a 3.5-liter V6 engine, rated for 290 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque going through a nine-speed automatic transmission. The Acura MDX is made in East Liberty, Ohio.  Share your voice More From Roadshow 26 Photos Mercedes-Benz Vision Urbanetic Concept hits the Las Vegas Strip at CES 2019 2019 Acura MDX adds new features and an A-Spec model 2019 Jeep Cherokee can handle the rough stuff Share your voice Comments Car Industry 12 Photos More From Roadshow Jeep CherokeeKeeping its top-of-the-list placement, the Jeep Cherokee is 2019’s most American-made car. Refreshed for 2019, the compact crossover now features more tech, better cargo space and a slightly tweaked look. It’s available in no fewer the nine trims, including the off-road specific Trailhawk and a fancy-pants Trailhawk Elite.For 2019, the Cherokee gets a new 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine with 270 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, though naturally aspirated I4 and V6 choices are also available. Regardless of engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission gets the power to the pavement — or dirt as the case may be. The Cherokee is made in Belvidere, Illinois.last_img read more

Tonight AFROs First Edition with Sean Yoes Monday January 4

first_imgListen at WEAA Live Stream: http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.m3uMonday’s national politics discussion with our regular commentators Catalina Byrd and Sean Breeze, including Donald Trump’s attack on Bill Clinton and Isis using Trump’s vitriol to recruit for their terror missions. Also, the legacy of Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, author of the seminal Isis Papers, who died over the weekend, with Dr. Ray Winbush, the director of Morgan State University’s Institute for Urban Research and Kevin Washington, president of the Association of Black Psychiatrists.These stories and more coming up this evening on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes.last_img

ArtTech Startup Makes the Digital Picture Frame Super Classy

first_imgApril 7, 2015 2 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalscenter_img Register Now » The idea of the digital picture frame is logical, but in execution, it doesn’t always work. In many cases, the picture quality isn’t great, the frames are cheesy and the whole vibe is a bit suburban-country-living gone wrong.A new art-tech startup, Meural, is making digital picture frames super classy and innovative. The image appears on a matte LCD display and the frame is made by hand of maple wood. The New York City-based startup isn’t interested in a slideshow of family vacation snaps from your latest family trip to Disney, either. The idea is for you to rotate images of fine art and professional photographs in your Meural.The startup is being very careful not to upset the art community traditionalists. “We unreservedly respect the established means of art collection and curation,” says CEO Vladimir Vukicevic, in a statement announcing the launch. “Meural is working closely with museums, galleries and artists to create an innovative new layer in visual culture by increasing the opportunity for exploration and accessibility.”Related: Marc Ecko on Entrepreneurship as an Art Form (Video)The discovery component of the Meural “digital canvas” makes it appealing to the indecisive set. And what if your tastes change? Or your mood shifts? Or you grow tired of a particular image? The Meural frame is connected to an app wirelessly, so you can change the image from across the room. But, also, if you are standing in front of the image, the frame is gesture sensitive, so you can wave your hand in front of the “digital canvas” and change the image displayed.Related: Artists Are Job-Creating Entrepreneurs, Too.The Meural frame is not available for purchase just yet. It’s in pre-order, starting at $395, and is expected to ship this fall.The technology that Meural is using to collect pre-orders is a new “standalone” crowdfunding software developed by the alternative finance platform RocketHub. The pre-order software, called LaunchPad, allows businesses to customize the RocketHub software to their particular needs. Vukicevic, the founder of Meural, was previously the CTO of RocketHub.Related: Crowdfunding Nearly Tripled Last Year, Becoming a $16 Billion Industrylast_img read more

You Should Be Protecting Your Business from Phony Leads

first_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global August 30, 2017 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now » 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. As crimes go, committing digital fraud is pretty easy; you don’t even need to leave your house. If you know what you are doing, the likelihood of getting caught is pretty slim. And you can make a lot of money.Related: How Ad Fraud Ruins the InternetEarlier this year, a group of Russian hackers made between $3 million and $5 million a day with an elaborate digital ad fraud scheme called Methbot, according to White Ops, a digital advertising security company. The criminals created phony domains that looked like reputable publisher sites. They tricked ad exchanges into serving video ads on their fake pages and then used an army of bots to click and view the ads so they racked up income.That sure beats robbing a bank.As entrepreneurs, we have to be aware of digital ad fraud so we can spend our hard-earned ad dollars wisely, and securely. Many companies use affiliate marketing in that they pay sites to help them generate leads, traffic or even sales. Used properly, affiliate marketing can be very successful. In fact, more than 80 percent of brands use it, according to this infographic from Acceleration Partners.While most affiliate partners are above board, there are seedy players who will resort to shady tactics to make more money. Those dubious tactics are wasting entrepreneurs’ time and money and affecting the validity of the leads they are purchasing. Affiliates are paid a set fee for every filled-out form they generate. Sometimes, fraudsters fill out those forms using real contact info they find easily online, e.g., the Yellow Pages, White Pages, websites, social media, etc. The contact info is legit, but the person didn’t actually fill it out and isn’t interested in the offer.To protect themselves, many businesses send leads to lead-validation companies before calling on them. These vendors help clients sift through their leads, to determine what is worth pursuing. Often, validation companies don’t catch this type of fraud. They simply verify that the data is correct, but they don’t check to see if it was actually entered by the person with whom the data is associated.Related: How to Maximize Your Online Sales LeadsBased on my experience working with marketers and the Leads Council, an average of 20 to 30 percent of leads that clear the validation process are actually fake. Sometimes, it can even be much more.Insult to injuryAs if wasting your money purchasing and validating a phony lead weren’t bad enough, the damage for business owners doesn’t stop there. Because the validation company thinks the lead is legitimate, marketers’ next step is to call the person. There is nothing consumers like more than intrusive, irrelevant phone calls, right?. What a way to make a lasting brand impression…Calling people who didn’t submit their information also opens advertisers up to Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) compliance issues, which can result in time-consuming lawsuits and hefty fines. The TCPA is intended to protect consumers’ privacy by regulating how marketers can reach out to them. Even if a business uses a third party for its marketing outreach, it is still liable should that third party break the law.For business owners, the first step in protecting themselves from lead fraud is awareness. Many simply don’t realize how prevalent digital fraud is, or they rely solely on lead verification companies to protect them. Adopting the following important two-step process can provide additional protection:1. Analyze.Verifying contact information isn’t enough. Companies need to dive into the analytics and try to understand the environment in which a user’s information was shared. Consider factors like the location of the IP address and the behavior of the user before filling out the form. There are sophisticated analytic tools that can help, such as Mouseflow or you can work with a partner.2. Optimize.Savvy marketers are constantly analyzing and optimizing their marketing tactics, trying to spend more on what is working and less on what is not. When phony leads make their way through the process, marketers’ campaign optimization efforts can be compromised. Dollars end up going to these fraudulent, nefarious channels rather than where they would have done the most good.You need to spot these fake leads, trace them back to their sources and revise your affiliate network accordingly. Are certain partners generating mostly fraudulent leads? Stop working with them. Where things get tricky is when a source is generating a healthy mix of legitimate and illegitimate leads.Many businesses need all the leads they can get. Rather than removing the traffic source completely, they proceed to validate each individual lead and weed out the faulty ones. This is a complicated solution, but it is possible these businesses — or you, if you’re doing this — have a solid system in place for analyzing your leads.Related: 10 Expert Tips for Driving More Marketing Qualified LeadsThe right approach depends on your business and your resources, but it is paramount that all entrepreneurs understand the lead-fraud problem and take steps to protect themselves. You aren’t just wasting ad dollars, you are risking legal action and potentially alienating your prospects with unsolicited phone calls.last_img read more

Air Transat celebrates more flights to France in its anniversary year

first_img Share Tuesday, June 20, 2017 MONTREAL — In its 30th anniversary year, Air Transat shows no signs of slowing down with an enhanced flight program to France, its most important destination in Europe.With some 360,000 seats offered annually and an increase in capacity on all its routes to France thanks to its wide-body Airbus A330 aircraft, it’s not surprising that the airline has become known as the preferred airline to the destination for nearly three decades.This year, Air Transat offers direct flights from Montreal to seven of the 10 major cities in France, including Paris, Lyon, Nantes, Toulouse, Nice, Marseille and Bordeaux. Plus, it has been offering flights to Basel-Mulhouse, located at the border between France and Switzerland, since 2008.This summer, travellers from Montreal will have access to: daily direct flights to Paris; five direct flights a week to Marseille; four direct flights a week to Lyon; three direct flights a week to Toulouse; two direct flights a week to Bordeaux, Nantes and Nice; and one direct flight a week to Basel-Mulhouse.More news:  Visit Orlando unveils new travel trade tools & agent perksFrom Quebec City, with a connection in Montreal, travellers can take advantage of five flights a week to Paris, four flights a week to Lyon, three flights a week to Marseille, two flights a week to Nantes and Toulouse, and one flight a week to Bordeaux.From Toronto, passengers will have the luxury of choosing between daily flights to Paris, five of which are direct. And, with a connection in Montreal, they can also fly to Marseille (five times a week); Lyon (four times a week); Nantes, Nice and Toulouse (twice a week); and Bordeaux (once a week).Resident of Vancouver will have six chances a week to visit Paris, thanks to three direct flights and three flights with a connection in Toronto. And for the first time this year, they can fly to Bordeaux, Lyon, Marseille and Nice once a week, via Toronto. Travellers from Calgary will have access to four flights a week to Paris thanks to connecting flights.Air Transat also offers a multi-destination flight option, making it possible to land in one city and return from another, at no extra cost. A cultural holiday to France can therefore begin with a stay in Provence by landing in Marseille, and end with a getaway to Paris. Tags: Air Transat, France, New Routes, Transat Posted bycenter_img Air Transat celebrates more flights to France in its anniversary year Travelweek Group << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more